In today’s gospel passage, the blind man knows very specifically how he wants to be healed; he desperately wants to see again. He is convinced that Jesus of Nazareth can heal him. In spite of the admonishments of those around him, the blind man cries out even more loudly, until he is heard.

If I place myself in the story, I have to consider what it is that I need to cry out to Jesus to heal. What are my afflictions? Limitations?

My daughter is preparing for her first reconciliation, and at our parish the parents participate in the sacrament right after their child. To truly prepare, I must attend to these questions of my own affliction and need for healing. Our faith, tradition, and God offer so many opportunities for healing and grace, but I don’t see myself in the shoes of the blind man all that often.

So I consider: What afflictions keep me from being in right relationships with those around me? What should I be crying out to Jesus to heal? Would I cry out even if others around me were admonishing me? How can I accept the healing grace offered to me so I can more fully participate in Advent?

—Elizabeth Collier has degrees from three different Jesuit universities, including a PhD in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago. She teaches at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.